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I am running a Ubuntu of version 12.04. Can I use a kernel of version of version 2.4 on it?

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The kernel version determines several other pieces of software that is intimately related to the kernel. It might work, but I wouldn't count on it. What do you want to do this for? – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 10:44
Please do not cross-post to multiple SE sites: askubuntu.com/questions/268089/… cross-post – Kevin Bowen Mar 15 '13 at 11:33
not again. thanks – Karthi prime Mar 15 '13 at 11:50
Again, what do you want to do with an EOL kernel? – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 13:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There might be a lot of things broken if you would use a kernel 2.4 on it.

First, such an old kernel might not (honestly it will not) recognize some or all your hardware because it did not exist at that time. Depending on the not recognized hardware you might or might not be able to start your machine.

Then, all the user space applications that directly communicate with the kernel might (or will) not work. Because the kernel architecture and feature changed that much that they are no longer compatible with it. Thus again you probably won't be able to boot.

So I would advise not to do it on a used system. If you really want to try it, create a VM, install Ubuntu in it, compile your kernel (if that works still!) and reboot the VM using this kernel. I doubt it will work, but who knows :-)

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thanks. i got it – Karthi prime Mar 15 '13 at 10:56
Recompiling libc should solve most of the problems, though. My main concern would be security though - 2.4 is not maintained any more. – peterph Mar 15 '13 at 11:50
@peterph That's a good point :) Regarding the libc, recompiling one that would match a 2.4 kernel with a recent GCC might be a challenge still. Don't you think? – Huygens Mar 15 '13 at 11:54
@Huygens that depends a lot on the libc in question. Building Glibc can easily get difficult on its own, that's true, but I don't think it would be that terrible as both GCC and Glibc strive for reasonable backward compatibility - I would expect it to be tedious but rather straightforward. Haven't tried though. :) – peterph Mar 15 '13 at 11:59
It's not only glibc, other pieces (like systemd if you use it) depend on new cgroups functionality, probably stuff like ps and iptables will depend on it too. Best bet is to unearth an old distribution (there are archived versions of at least Red Hat, Fedora, and old CentOS still to be found). – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 13:07

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